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Posts with tag BWL

Level 60 vanilla guild 5-mans Razorgore

Yes, we know -- level 90s can solo Blackwing Lair's first boss, Razorgore, with ease, but we still think it's an impressive feat for five at-level players. The guild Molten Core Veterans is focused on vanilla-era raiding, with no death knights or monks; no characters above level 60; and no gear or enchants over level 60, either. With the mechanics of the fight -- more about managing adds than damaging the boss -- Razorgore may be one of the only vanilla fights that can be done with such a small at-level group. The next boss, Vaelestraz, takes a lot more DPS to down -- and so a lot more players.

As someone who fought through learning this fight during vanilla, I salute these guys. For all that vanilla raids have gotten easier over the years -- and power creep has even hit players trying their hardest to get the vanilla WoW experience -- the Razorgore fight isn't easy to master.

Filed under: Raiding

WoW Archivist: Patch 1.7, Rise of the Blood God

The WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

As we go through the patches of classic World of Warcraft, you've seen all along that Cataclysm is essentially a sequel to the original game. Everything in Cataclysm ties into things that began all those years ago. The Twilight's Hammer, Ragnaros and the other elemental lords, Nefarian and Onyxia ... all of those things hearken back to the Azeroth of 2004 and 2005. It isn't just the main plot of this expansion that ties back into the original game either -- oh, no. The little side stories we experience and investigate tie back into the original game, too.

Today, we're looking at patch 1.7 from September 2005. It is the patch that introduced us to Zul'Gurub and the Blood God Hakkar, both of which made their return just months ago.

In addition, patch 1.7 includes:
  • Arathi Basin
  • Stranglethorn Vale's fishing event
  • Implementation of the dressing room
  • Debuff limit raised from eight to 16
Let's explore, hm?

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: World of Warcraft patch 1.6

The WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Patch 1.6 has probably one of the worst patch trailers in the entirety of World of Warcraft's history. It's not just that there are no fancy custom animations in the trailer; such things came way later -- machinima was in its infancy, so Blizzard itself saw no reason utilize those techniques or perhaps didn't have the resources. No, it's not just that. It's that there is a token effort somewhere in the video to build drama and epic suspense, but it is all shattered by the image of a member of the QA team leaping about like a spaz in the background while a Judgement-donning paladin tries to set a serious tone. It just isn't happening. How good or bad the trailer was didn't matter back in 2005, though. Back then, it was the most exciting thing in the world.

Interestingly, the trailer is surprisingly difficult to find at all in places like YouTube or other video hosts nowadays, seemingly moreso than other patch trailers from around the same time period. Patch 1.5 and patch 1.7 have sources aplenty floating around, but patch 1.6? It just seems lost and forgotten.

In addition to Blackwing Lair, patch 1.6 also delivered:
  • The Darkmoon Faire
  • Battlemasters to ease battleground queues
  • The implementation (and complete disuse) of a Silvermoon Remnant faction, high elves loyal to the Alliance, aggressive to the Horde -- and never used for anything of note.
Join me on a magical journey through the Warcraft library!

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Raid Rx: A history of organizational healing

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI, macro, and addon related.

Organizing healing continues to be one of the many intriguing challenges that raiding groups face today. In some cases, there are pre-set players assigned to do specific things. Sometimes they are even worked out in advance on a forum or a white board. In looser groups or pickup groups, there isn't the luxury of planning healing in advance and the organizers have to go with their gut feeling and "stereotype" classes in order to figure out assignments. Examples, any holy paladins are told to heal a tank. Restoration shamans are told to heal a specific group and holy priests are told to heal another group.

It wasn't always entirely like that. This week, I want to take you back in time to the era of vanilla raid healing, through the Burning Crusade and to now. I'm also going to include my thoughts as to what Cataclysm might be like.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

The Queue: I demand a recount



Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Michael Sacco will be your host today.

I'll be taking over The Queue periodically for Alex and Adam, and thus I've been given this soapbox. Well, guess what! I'm usin' it.

I demand a recount on the alleged outcome of the Rossi vs. Sacco arm-wrestling match. I don't know where the results came from, but I bet if we looked in Adam's basement, we'd find a Diebold machine that "fell off the back of a truck." Rossi may have the burly chest and body hair that give him the makings of a champion, but I've got really good hair and I can guarantee that one look at me and Rossi would give up the ghost right there. Unless we're playing by standard rules, in which case he would literally murder me.

And now, reader questions.

Sean asked...

"A question about the new Random Dungeon feature. Let's say you sign up for the first random dungeon of the morning, and you get a place that you just can't stand. (Think OK or Occ) If you bail on the dungeon, then wait out the Deserter debuff, have you messed up your shot at the Frost Emblems for the day?"

We've had a lot of questions about the new Dungeon System lately, which is good, because it shows that people are (at least) interested in it and (at most) excited about it. To answer your question, you don't miss your opportunity to get your Emblems of Frost if your first random dungeon of the day goes down the toilet. You get your Emblems upon successful completion of your first random dungeon of the day.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Trinket-Palooza 2009


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Allison Robert is your hostess today again (our condolences).

I'm in an autumnal sort of mood, hence today's picture. Yes, I know that Barrens trees always look like that. We got a really interesting question about trinkets the last time around that really caught my attention, so a lot of today's Queue is going to be comprised of an Enjoyable Stroll Down Memory Lane and Into Holy ^$*# Look At That Trinket From AQ40 How Has That Not Been Nerfed Yet.

Starlin asks...

So, what's up with Brewfest this year? Anything new or updated?


Fortunately or us, Kisirani posted on this same question yesterday. To summarize, there are no major changes to the holiday, but Coren Direbrew has been updated to level 80, the mount drop rates haven't changed (nor are they now required for the Brewfest meta-achievement), and no new pets or mounts have been added. You can reasonably expect a beefed-up holiday boss with a new loot table (most likely of ilevel 200 items, possibly 219 if they want to match the gear from heroic Trial of the Champion), but otherwise the same experience as last year. I'll have an OverAchiever for the good folks seeking Brewfest achievements up on the site soon.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Features, The Queue

Turn off XP gain for classic raiding

The ability to turn off experience gains is coming in patch 3.2, and is rightly being touted as a feature to enable twinking (to go along with the new battleground experience system).

However, that's not all that turning off XP lets you do. Remember how people have been asking for classic realms with the level cap set at 60 (or 70)? Yeah, here you go. Level a guild of characters to 60, pay 10g to turn off XP gain, and raid the old world to your heart's content.

Nethaera mentioned as much in a blue post yesterday, constituting the first supportive mention of classic only raiding that Blizzard has ever made, as Adam noticed. She does mention that this may change during testing, like everything, but for now: classic content lovers, rejoice! Don't forget to loot your core hound.


Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Patches, Raiding

Onyxia attunement to be lifted


Valnoth announced today that with the return of King Wrynn in Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard will be removing the attunement necessary for Onyxia. In vanilla WoW, Ony was an achievement and many peoples first introduction to raiding in Warcraft. In Burning Crusade it was often ran as a quick way to make a buck or get a nice helmet for an alt.

Ony was one of the last, great old school attunements required in the game. With it gone, only Black Wing Lair and Molten Core remain as attunement required raids. This is a sad day for those of us that enjoyed the quest chain. A friend of mine and I were going to run this through on his Shaman and my up-and-coming Mage. Apparently we'll have to actually kick ourselves into gear and do it soon.

There is no indication if this change will come with WotLK or with patch 3.0.2. However the King returns in 3.0.2, so I would have to assume the attunement will be lifted then. It should be noted however, that Valnoth did say they would attempt to return the chain some day in the future. But we all know how that can go...

Thanks to Jarred for the tip!

Filed under: News items, Quests, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

Patch 2.4: Hyjal and Black Temple attunements removed

Blizzard announced the following important four lines in their 2.4 Patch Notes:
  • Players will no longer require an attunement quest to enter Hyjal.
  • Players will no longer require an attunement quest to enter the Black Temple.
  • Players who have completed the attunement quests for Black Temple and Hyjal will be granted the title of "Hand of A'dal".
  • You may now fight Prince Kael'thas and Lady Vashj without first killing all the other bosses in their respective dungeons.
I have to say, despite the difficulty of Vashj and Kael'Thas, I am quite surprised to find that Blizzard has removed the attunement requirements from Patch 2.4. Naxx, Blackwing Lair, and even Molten Core still require people to become attuned. Now seemingly, two of the hardest and most revered raids do not.

While the removal of the attunement is obviously a way to get more people to see their new raid zone, the Sunwell Plateau, all is not golden. Many, many, many raiding guilds and players who have already made the brutal trek through Vashj and Kael will be quite upset. On the other hand players who are not yet able to, but perhaps ready for, the first few bosses of MH and BT, will undoubtedly rejoice.

What are your opinions of this change? How do you think it will affect the raiding landscape?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Quests, Raiding, The Burning Crusade

Your WoWJutsu rank

The folks at WoWJutsu provide a great little competitive tool that ranks guilds according to the PvE raid content they've completed. The site is pretty popular, and a lot of guilds use it in their advertising over at the Guild Recruitment Forums. My guild has been known to pay pretty close attention to the number. I have to admit that about once a week I find myself checking our ranking against those of other guilds my friends are in.

This got me thinking... what good does basing your progress against other guilds do? Sure, there are the ultra competitive guilds like Death and Taxes and Nihilum. However they approach the game in a way that leads them to needing to care about how close the guild behind them is doing. For most of us, competing against other guilds is only going to lead to unforeseen frustrations. Most guilds have a boss or two that they get hung up on. Back in the days when BWL was hard, my guild spent a long time defeating Razorgore, and after he was gone the rest of the instance fell within a month. This kind of common hurdle in WoW is not reflected in WoWJutsu; all you get to know is that a guild is stuck on a boss, not that they're going to have amazing progress after it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Forums

40 men on a raid

Kavis wonders if he's the only person who wants 40 man raids back. I'm sure he's not the only person, but I'd bet he's in the minority. Forty man raids may sound super fun in theory, but in practice they are pretty miserable-- it's hell to coordinate the schedules of 40 people on a regular basis, and then it's even worse to actually get them to line up on time and do what needs to be done. I don't know if Kavis ever actually ran Molten Core or BWL or Naxx, but while 40 man raids were fun while they lasted, 10 and 25 man raids are much, much easier on raidleaders and guildies alike.

As Bornakk says, the devs love 25 man raids too-- since 40 man raids could be carried by about 25 good players anyway, it makes things much easier for everyone, in terms of individual contributions.

Now, if Kavis is asking to return to the 40 man content, I'm completely down with that. BWL, AQ, and Naxx were fun to go through when you had a good group rolling (as rare as that was), and the content there shouldn't be abandoned (Naxx, we already know, is likely being repurposed in WotLK). But as for a return to the days of trying to get 40 people together for five hours on a Sunday evening? No thanks.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding

The masterminds of WoW on gaming

Have you ever wondered what the names and faces behind WoW do in their off time? In the recent interview 1up had with Shane Dabiri, Rob Pardo, Jeff Kaplan, and Tom Chilton, we get to find out a bit about that -- at least in regards to some of the games that they're playing right now. Two of them were really no surprise to me: Guitar Hero II and God of War. Those two have been all over the gaming media and are a lot of fun to play, so it makes total sense. The two titles that caught me off guard were several mentions of Viva Pinata and Rob saying that he plays the PopCap game, Peggle. They also covered some great background information from their gaming roots, to some ways they think WoW has changed the genre. Check it out!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Interviews

Around Azeroth: Meeting Nefarian


Reader Rokhan of Earthen Ring (EU) sends in this shot taken while his guild was learning the Nefarian encounter in Blackwing Lair. In case you're curious, the Hunter should never find himself tanking. (Rokhan! Couldn't you find your Feign Death button?!)

Do you have a unique shot of Azeroth or Outland that you'd like to show off to the rest of the world? Tell us about it by e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.com! Or perhaps you'd just like to see more of your pics from Around Azeroth.

Filed under: Screenshots, Around Azeroth

Scholomance? More like Solomance

I've been speculating a lot on what Blizzard is going to do with the old instances, just because I'm always ready for a challenge, and currently, at level 70, the old raids don't offer a full group much of a challenge at all. But as some of our wise commenters have said, you don't have to wait for Blizzard to change the old instances to have fun with them-- just go in solo.

NSDragon on LJ asks what instances (Mara and up) can be soloed at 70. You don't have to wait until 70 to solo Mara-- I know folks who were soloing that one back at 60. Sunken Temple might have been tough at 60, but a well-geared 70 should be able to take that place down.

I know for a fact that a guildie of mine has repeatedly soloed BRD all the way to Emperor for farming, and a hunter in the guild was farming Stratholme for Righteous Orbs a while back. So I'd guess that most of the 5mans can be soloed pretty easily. Has anyone tried to beat UBRS solo? That seems much harder, but a duo seems pretty easy, and I'm sure a trio of the right classes would probably take down Drakk before he even knew what hit him. Someone on the LJ thread says MC has been 5manned, and I've heard that Ony has been three manned. Anyone know about BWL? Or Naxx? It's really hard to believe that Naxx doesn't still require at least 15-20 well-geared 70s, but I guess anything's possible. ZG and AQ20 are probably easy with ten 70s, but I could definitely see those getting 5manned as well as more people head into the new endgame.

When a five man group downs Kel'Thuzad, you know it'll be time for Blizzard to worry about the old instances. But until then, I guess unguilded 70s can just enjoy all the new solo content!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, Leveling

The Burning Crusade: A long path to Mount Hyjal

Without getting too much into the lore, you may recall Mount Hyjal as being a pretty pivotal place in the history of Azeroth. It was there that the Battle of Mount Hyjal was fought at the end of Warcraft III, and the destiny of the night elves was forever changed.

We've known for awhile now that the Burning Crusade will let us access some moments in Azeroth's past, including Hillsbrad, the Dark Portal, and Hyjal. What we weren't really aware of until now, is the apparent gargantuan effort it's going to take individuals to get ready for and attuned to the Battle of Mount Hyjal.

Blizzplanet has a rundown on what you'll need to do in order to be admitted to the Caverns of Time for this epic event. Keep in mind that there will be some spoilers in there, but I believe it's worth the read just to get a grip on what Blizzard has in mind for us to get ready.

This is not like getting attuned for Onyxia or BWL. In fact, this seems like it's a bigger deal than the AQ40 event was, on top of which every single person in your 25-man raid group has to have completed all the steps.

Personally, I think this is pretty cool. Instead of slugging through raid after raid, you get a big build-up to that raid. No more walking into a giant event without some idea of what lead up to it. I think this shows that the Blizzard developers are thinking about the world they're creating, and the lore behind it. This can only be good for the continued success of the game, and I'm sure it works as a nice timesink for the beancounters, too.

What do you think of lengthy prerequisites and jaunts around the world before being let in to a big raid event? Does this encourage you or discourage you from pursuing quest chains and following the lore?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Walkthroughs, Quests, Expansions, Raiding, The Burning Crusade

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